Chainlink’s first-ever SmartCon Summit marked a major 2020 blockchain event. We saw 8,000+ attendees, representing 100+ countries from all 7 continents, join over 130 speakers for 70+ talks, panels, workshops and AMAs. We heard from developers, dApp teams, node operators, researchers, and enterprise leaders sharing their cutting edge research and current thinking about the future of decentralized technology. Additionally, a diverse collection of projects currently building with Chainlink oracles on Ethereum, Bitcoin, and various other blockchains showcased the state of DeFi today and set the stage for high growth in the coming years.

Key takeaways

  • Former RSA Chief Scientist and Chainlink whitepaper co-author Dr. Ari Juels will lead the new Chainlink Labs research arm as Chief Scientist. The Chainlink Labs Global Research Program will actively research and develop strategic enhancements for the Chainlink Network to continually expand the value it provides to users and society as a whole
  • Chainlink Labs acquires DECO from Cornell University, which enables Chainlink oracles to makes HTTPS/TLS data available on public blockchains without sacrificing confidentiality
  • DeFi leaders Sergey Nazarov from Chainlink, Andre Cronje from yearn.finance, Stani Kulechov from Aave, and Kain Warwick from Synthetix see a massive level of global coordination happening across the DeFi stack like nothing else in history
  • Microsoft, Oracle, T-Systems, Armanino, and other enterprise companies are turning to blockchain for data provenance, security, and new revenue verticals
  • Enterprise blockchain adoption is taking off in China; Nervos, Conflux, BSN, and SNZPool shared how Western blockchain projects need to separate out tokens from technology, form localized relationships and partners, and focus on government relations in order to be successful in China
  • OpenLaw released smart contract functionality within Microsoft Office documents, enabling OpenLaw smart contracts to be written, edited, and executed as legal contracts directly from Microsoft Word
  • Ed Felten announced ArbOS, and explained how version two of Arbitrum will significantly speed up deploying and executing smart contracts on any blockchain by the end of the year
  • And much more—Visit the Chainlink YouTube Channel for SmartCon video releases

DeFi Solutions, Enterprise Blockchain, and Quality Community

SmartCon speakers pointed to a future of rapid growth and genuine enthusiasm for building decentralized systems and using Chainlink. Committed and skilled teams spent years building out decentralized technologies that are now gathering momentum thanks to infrastructure like oracles that greatly expand the capabilities of smart contracts to provide value. And while it may seem that at this moment DeFi is taking crypto by storm thanks to the introduction of more advanced protocol and financial models, the innovations at SmartCon show that this is just a preview of a much larger wave of development over the coming years.

For example, Synthetix made a major announcement that they switched all of their remaining price oracles to Chainlink’s Price Reference Data. By using Chainlink, they are able to decentralize a key piece of their protocol infrastructure and move one step closer to their goal of becoming a DAO. In another example, Arbitrum’s scaling solution uses off-chain Solidity computation to enable protocols to increase their throughput while reducing their transaction costs on Ethereum. Paired with Chainlink oracles, this will make smart contracts, and virtually all of DeFi, more scalable and cost-effective for developers.

Another key theme was enterprise tech companies wanting the benefits of blockchain and actively positioning themselves to take advantage of this next wave of technological disruption. T-Systems, a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary, explained their Web3 IT strategy, starting with running their own Chainlink node, which is currently live and provides price data to Chainlink Price Reference Data oracle networks. It’s part of a wider initiative to leverage their existing IT infrastructure to support public decentralized systems and earn new revenue from network participation. Top 25 accounting firm Armanino is also venturing into Web3 technology by tackling how taxes and financials are managed in this new era where businesses earn staking and network validation rewards. They also built their own tool for real-time digital asset assurances. It’s clear that enterprises are no longer just using blockchain as a buzzword, but actually believe and are investing in a future redefined by decentralized systems.

Finally, the Summit would not have been been possible without each and every one of you. Network effects don’t just happen by connecting data to blockchains, but through the interconnection of people from around the world that share in a vision of a more equitable future through technology. SmartCon highlighted the incredible community building and supporting Chainlink. Developers, node operators, DeFi users, enthusiasts, data providers, and enterprise collaborators all contribute in their own way, whether by presenting, networking, asking questions, or spreading the word about amazing projects.

SmartCon Continues to Live On

We will be back with another Smart Contract Summit to showcase the more innovative smart contract research, development, and adoption. In the meantime, don’t miss all of the talks from this year’s event on the Chainlink YouTube Channel.

Chainlink also hosts events throughout the year including local community meetups, weekly YouTube AMAs with Chainlink Ecosystem projects, and this year’s Chainlink Hackathon running September 7th to 27th. Come and join our community working towards making smart contracts the dominant form of digital agreement around the world.

Start testing and building with Chainlink today by visiting the developer documentation, joining the technical discussion on Discord, and/or reaching out to us here. Get access to ready-made solutions for reliable price feeds and provable randomness or request and recieve data from any API.

For more information, check out the Chainlink website or follow us on Twitter or Reddit.